‘The problem began when the Federal Government took cooks and chefs off the skills in demand list, which allowed people to come to Australia easily,’ she said. As a result the only way to employ a foreign chef is through the temporary 457 short term working visa which costs around $50,000 a year compared with $30,000 for the equivalent Australian restaurant worker. ‘The government needs to put these workers on the skills in demand list and relax language requirements,’ she added.
A report from the association shows that its own research among members reveals that 7% of the industry is actively seeking a senior cook or chef and 5% are seeking a restaurant manager. The Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts the number of chefs required will grow by 14% in the next five years. However, fewer Australian are training as chefs with enrolments in hospitality certificate level courses down 5%.
Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “Myself and my husband are looking to move to Oz, he is a chef but chef has been taken off of the sol!! We are going to look into get a employer sponsored visa. Can you tell me what are the chances of a chef fully qualified and cooking for the past 14 years a sponsered job and whats the best way to go looking for a job?”
Therefore, the association wants chefs put back on the skills in demand list and for the English language requirement to be looked at on a case by case basis. ‘If a specialist Cantonese chef is working in a specialist Cantonese kitchen, they may not need the level of English language skills which the Immigration Department requires,’ Neville said, adding, ‘Training for chefs in Australia is very generalised but restaurants are finding now they need a specialist tandoori chef or specialist dumpling maker’.
There is likely to be increasing demand for Asian chefs next year according to Food Forward 2013, an annual report from Weber Shandwick, with South American and Asian flavours the current trend setters. ‘South American and Asian flavours will boom in Australia in 2013, with Korean, Wagyu and Peruvian restaurants and spicy food from northern China. Mexican foods and flavours will also continue to boom, becoming an essential part in any Aussie kitchen,’ it says.
DECEMBER 10, 2012